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A bit of bayou in Berkeley

By John GeluardiDaily Planet staff
Monday August 20, 2001

Judging from the sounds of fiddles, accordions and washboards, Civic Center Park was temporarily transported to the prairies and bayous of southern Louisiana Saturday afternoon during the Ecology Center’s 12th annual Cajun Festival. 

Cajun fans, and the regular shoppers that the North Berkeley Farmer’s Market, sat on the grass sipping organic beer, snacking on seafood gumbo and crawfish etoufee while listening to the traditional Cajun music, which has its roots in French, Celtic, Native American and African American traditions. 

Others crowded onto a wooden dance floor in front of the bandstand and stomped out variations of the two-step to the lively and inviting music performed by Motor Dude Zydeco and the Creole Belles. 

Joe Shelton, fresh off the dance floor, said he tries to come to the festival every year.  

“I come for the music,” he said. “The dancing is fun because you can do pretty much what you want to so long as you stay within the beat.” 

For those who wanted some tips on the two-step, Cajun dance instructor Pattie Whitehurst played Zydeco CDs to